Carolyn Griffin & Art Mahoney, Community Counseling, LLC
Co-Executive Directors and Build-A-Business Program Directors
Art and Carolyn have been teaching together for the past eight years, providing business consulting and workshops for entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs, and have taught the Community Entrepreneur Opportunity (CEO) entrepreneurial training program and participated in a wide variety of community based initiatives. They joined the SCC team in December 2013 to teach the small business development program, Build-A-Business. In April 2014, they became interim Executive Directors for Suncoast Community Capital.
Jessica Ruter, Director of Programs
Jessica joined the SCC team in 2011 and currently manages Bridges to Careers, A program of CareerEdge. She has previously worked for CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and the School District of Sarasota County. She also has volunteered with various local and international organizations over the past 12 years. Currently, she volunteers with the Children’s Ministry at the Bridge Church of Palma Sola Bay and is on United Way of Manatee County’s Community Investment Committee and their ReadingPals program. In 2010, she received her B.A. from the University of South Florida in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, with Cognates in Religious Studies and Anthropology.
Catherine Ferrer, Partnerships and Public Relations
Catherine joined SCC in the Spring of 2014 and manages the fundraising, marketing and public relations for the organization. In addition, she is the Academic Coach who helps graduates from Bridges to Careers (a program of CareerEdge) to launch their future career paths. Catherine has over ten years of experience working in nonprofits including SCOPE, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, Realize Bradenton and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. During that time, Catherine also spent three years helping her husband grow their family moving company while caring for her two daughters when they were tiny babies. A proud New College alum, Catherine has lived in the Bradenton area for 15 years after moving down here from the frigid north called Ohio. While she has converted her allegiances to all things Florida, she is still a Buckeyes fan at heart. When she is not working or chasing after her little children, Catherine enjoys reading, gardening, being a “Big Sister” mentor, the arts, going to the beach and solving the world’s problems.
Jahna Leinhauser, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Coordinator
Jahna serves as a part-time, seasonal staff member of SCC, coordinating our free tax return prep services known as VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). Jahna is also the Assistant Vice President of Community Development for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Jahna is a graduate of the Leadership Manatee program and currently serves on the following boards: Bradenton Housing Authority, Suncoast Workforce, and the United Way of Manatee County. Her other community involvement includes: Suncoast Workforce Youth Council, United Way of Manatee County Community Investment Committee and Financial Stability Committee, and various Career Advisory Councils at Manatee County high schools.
Executive Director, currently serving in Kyrgyzstan in the Peace Corps…
Dutton, a resident of this area for nearly 20 years, has a history of working in the nonprofit sector in healthcare administration and community change organizations, with an emphasis on social justice. For 12 years he served as the executive director of SCOPE, a civic engagement organization in Sarasota County. During his tenure, SCOPE brought the community together to tackle issues such as school dropout, affordable housing, race and cultural relations, aging and many more. He developed a reputation as a convener and facilitator and was responsible for the creation of multiple reports and data products aimed at improved community well-being.
Dutton left SCOPE in 2012 to be the co-founder and co-executive director of Sarasota Community Studio, a neighborhood-based community change organization in the Central-Cocoanut neighborhood of Sarasota where he lives. This next generation place-based effort is initiated and led by neighbors, focusing on neighborhood-wide thriving by following the lead of kids in this 47-block area.
Prior to coming to Florida, Dutton ran hospitals in Ohio and rural Haiti. He is a W.K. Kellogg leadership fellow and was an election observer for the Organization of American States.